Bridget Tyler has stopped by to talk about writing the darker themes in Drummer Girl. You can check my review here
Bridget Tyler studied Creative Writing at NYU, including a formative stint at the London campus. After graduation, Bridget traded New York for Hollywood and worked her way up from CAA assistant to feature film executive. But writing and storytelling has always been her passion, and she wrote ‘Drummer Girl’ based on her observations of both Hollywood and England.
Bridget lives in Los Angeles where she is a television writer on USA Networks’ hit show, ‘Burn Notice.’ She is also currently co-producing a pilot she wrote for USA – Horizon – with Gale Anne Hurd, producer of ‘The Walking Dead.’
The plot of Drummer Girl has a lot of fun, exciting moments in it. It also has quite a few really serious themes and plot points, not all of which end well for the ladies of Crush. I decided early on not to pull any punches, when it came to exploring the consequences of the dark side of the music industry. But what I found as I worked out the story of the Crush girls was that it wasn’t the consequences of being in the spotlight that were the most dire for them… it was the ordinary dangers that teenage girls face every day.
You don’t have to be a reality show contestant or a rock star to find yourself struggling with eating disorders, drugs, absent parents or toxic friends. Being a teenage girl can be dangerous business, and I think if you’re going to tell stories about teenage girls, then you need to be honest about how hard it can be.
Robyn’s body image issues were particularly harrowing for me to write – I never suffered from an eating disorder, but, like most young women, I had some serious body image issues that made everything from jeans shopping to performing in school plays to talking to cute boys really difficult. Putting myself in the headspace of someone like Robyn, who gets totally overwhelmed by the same sorts of body image issues, was scary because it was so easy to understand how she ended up in such a dangerous place.
But that’s why it was important to me to write about the dark side of teenage life – it’s too easy to feel alone when you’re facing something like an eating disorder. If you’re struggling with an eating disorder, or even contemplating taking extreme steps to lose weight, it’s really important to talk about it with someone you trust. Doctors, parents, teachers, cool aunts or uncles, friends… just saying it out loud is important. I hope that Robyn’s story will help other girls do just that!
It was supposed to be the summer of her life. Instead, 17-year-old Lucy finds her best friend Harper shot dead in an LA swimming pool. How did it come to this? Lucy Gosling is the drummer in Crush, a rock band formed by five London schoolgirls that has just won the UK semi-final of an international talent contest. But when the band lands in Hollywood for the big final, things are not quite as they seem. The band’s lead singer, Harper, has just one thing on her mind – using sex, drugs and rock and roll, not to mention Crush itself, to win back her bad-news ex-boyfriend. Lucy must decide whether she’s playing to Harper’s tune, or setting the rhythm for the rest of the band.
If you were a musical instrument, what would you be and why?
Quite honestly, I’d probably be a drum. As a writer, I’m very into the rhythm of the words – I often find myself looking for the beat of a scene, so to speak, to make it really come alive and
catch the imagination of my reader.
Tea or Coffee?
Coffee in the morning, green tea or mint tea with sugar in the afternoon.
Last film you saw at the cinema?
Oblivion – I love a good science fiction adventure! Oblivion wasn’t amazing, but I had fun watching it, which is all I ask of movies, most of the time.
At the moment Powell’s Books in Portland – I’ve loved bookstores since I was little and Powell’s the coolest one I’ve ever been in.
What word describes you best?
Curious! I love learning about stuff – pretty much anything I don’t know will do. I think curiosity is an essential trait for a writer. I find new stories in the strangest places, so the fact
that I always want to know more about anything new that crosses my path is very helpful.
One thing you couldn’t write without?
Great music! If I really need to dig into a scene I put my earbuds in and drown out the rest of the world in a really great playlist.
What would be your superpower?
Instantaneous travel! I’ve got friends all over the world that I miss terribly – I’d love to be able to visit them by just clicking my ruby slippers together or hopping in my Tardis. I’ve
also got a lot of amazing things in this world I still have to see – it’d be fantastic to be able to pop off to India or Brazil for a Saturday afternoon.
From Crush’s line-up, which girl is most like you?
I think I was somewhere between Lucy and Iza – I was pretty low key and just a little shy. Thankfully I had some great friends who helped me come out of my shell!
What’s the perfect cure to a bad day?
A take away dinner and complain session with my lady friends! Or a hug from my boyfriend. Preferably both!
And finally, what is the question you wish people would ask and never do?
Hmmmm this is a tough one – Drummer Girl is my first novel, so I haven’t been doing interviews very long! I do think one of the most important questions for a writer to answer might be, “Why do you write?” My answer is probably the same one Lucy Gosling might give if you asked her why she plays the drums – “Because I need to.” I think when you’re an artist, you need to practice your art as much as you need to eat and sleep and breathe. I’ve just been lucky enough to get the chance to share my art with the world! I hope you all enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Disclaimer: The make-up kit will consist of some of the items above.
You can win a copy of Drummer Girl as well as a make-up kit!
To enter click:
Contest is UK only & closes on the 19 May 2013.